Wound G String Set Opinions/Experience?

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by GuitarGeni, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. GuitarGeni

    GuitarGeni Strat-Talk Member

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    So I noticed the other day that D'Addario makes string sets with a wound G. Does anyone have any experience or input into how these sound? I'm not really a fan of D'Addario strings in general, but I am intrigued by these sets as the G string always sounds a little off to me. Specifically, I'm wondering if the winding makes a difference?
     
  2. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Senior Stratmaster

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    Purchased an Epiphone Swingster a few months ago. It came with 11’s and a wound G, not sure what brand. On this guitar I like it. Hard to say if it sounds different because I haven’t tried an unwound G. The saddle definitely is in a different position from my other guitars for intonation. I’ll be keeping a wound G on this guitar but I won’t be switching my other guitars. They all have 9’s except one I use for slide.
     
  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    I tried a wound G set a few years ago and it took about 1 minute to decide to throw that one away and put a plain string in its place. It makes bending the G about ten times as hard!

    On the other hand, if you're not into bending it would probably be fine.

    @GuitarGeni, I must have been through Woodstown a couple hundred times. When I was young my parents had a house in Ocean City, and we'd drive up from Bethesda, MD to route 40 and over to OC. We often stopped at the Woodstown Diner. What a great little town!
     
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  4. GuitarGeni

    GuitarGeni Strat-Talk Member

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    Yeah, a lot of people seem to pass through this little town. I totally avoid main routes during the summer. It's a madhouse!
     
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  5. Sixstringer107

    Sixstringer107 Strat-O-Master

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    I don't have any personal experience with them, but I played with a guy that swore by the wound G. He was strictly rhythm, he didn't wanna make it cry or sing. (See what I did there :)) He always said the same thing, that the normal unwound G string always sounded off to him.
     
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  6. Uncle Jimmy

    Uncle Jimmy Senior Stratmaster

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    "... the normal unwound G string..." That gives me a chuckle! I remember when ALL string sets had a wound G. There's a clip floating around out there somewhere of George Harrison amazed at the unwound G he had just played.
     
  7. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Senior Stratmaster

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    Not a bender here, so wound 3rd's on mine.
     
  8. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    I had the exact same experience. Put it on and strummed a chord... oh cool... tried to bend.... nope... wound off, plain back on. The floating bridge makes it even worse.
     
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  9. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    I bet a lot of businesses along 40 are supported by that madhouse though!
     
  10. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Senior Stratmaster

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    I don’t get that people can’t bend a wound G. I bend all the strings including the wound E, A, D. It just takes practice to build up the technique. It doesn’t take strength, just technique. E.g. the E and A you need to pull down instead of push up.
     
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  11. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    Great for old school sounds.
    A 1/2 step bend on a wound G gets you right into T-Bone territory.
    It's also the traditional Jazz sound.
    But that bend on the plain G is the sound of Rock and Roll, to me.
    Rockers and Blues benders gladly cut that wound G loose and very few looked back.
     
  12. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    I don't disagree. For me the benefits didn't justify a technique overhaul though. I still have a spare so I may give it another go on a different guitar to give it another chance but bending down the G string wouldn't allow me to bend up a full step and grab the B string on the adjacent fret. Which I do often. I'm really just a hobbyist though so take my comment for what its worth which isn't much.
     
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  13. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    I like a wound G. It does make the strummed chords feel a little more full. Maybe a little more like acoustic strings--most of which have a wound G.

    Many sets of balanced 10s have a 17p for the G string, which tunes to pitch (on a 25.5. scale) at 18.2 lbs. An 18w tunes to pitch at 18.3 lbs. I can't feel a .1 lb difference in tension--which is smaller than the differences between the other strings. If there's a 3-lb difference between strings I feel that and it annoys me.

    I am not aware of any company that offers a wound string smaller than .018.

    https://tension.stringjoy.com/

    Many string sets are not well tension balanced. If the wound G has a lot more tension than the other strings in the set, it will be hard to bend. Fender's original "regular" strings from the 50s, the No. 10 set--would have had something like this tension: 13p (30.1) .017p (28.9), .028w (41.3), .034w (33.6), .046w (32.7), .055w (29.3). That 12 lb jump between the B and G strings would have been pretty rough.
     
  14. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Senior Stratmaster

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    I only pull down on the low E and A. The G and D I push up. I only use a wound G on my Epiphone Swingster hollow body. It came with a wound G so I keep it that way. Changing to an unwound G would require an intonation adjustment and sometimes the G string is a bugger to intonate so I leave good enough alone :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  15. grumpah

    grumpah Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    There is a company in Britain that sells 0.015w, 0.016w, and 0.017w strings [I currently have the 16s and 17s but found they actually measure 0.015 and 0.016, respectively]. In my opinion they took the imbalance too far the other way. If anyone wants to give them a try hit me up, I have spares that I won't ever use.

    I agree that the plain G just doesn't sound right. I have spent a lot of time in the 'making it sound more balanced' rabbit hole. I settled on an 18w with a slightly modified vintage stagger and it sounds much better to me.

    With regard to bending, I don't feel any difference between a wound 0.018 and plain 0.016 or 0.017. Tension wise my G,B, and E strings are all over the place [0.009, 0.011, 0.018w].
     
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